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Happy 9th Birthday Nikolai Zinoviy!

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Happy 9th birthday to our oldest Siberian, CFA Grand Premier Nikolai Zinoviy! Nikolai is a stunning cameo (CFA), red silver (TICA) mackerel tabby Siberian who loves to play with snow, ice, and water; hop into the refrigerator for some nice cool air; climb and jump as high as possible; and run around screaming in fits of drama.

If you have a Siberian, you know that they truly do take 5 years to fully mature. With cameo (red silver) Siberians, those years can be difficult. Cameo Siberians start out as “ugly ducklings” and because of this, they are most often the last to be chosen in their litters. This was true with Nikolai as he was the only kitten that was not chosen by his forever family. I knew that Nikolai was going to be absolutely stunning when he grew up and I chose him the same day that I saw him. However, Nikolai’s cat show career had a very rocky start. For the first few years, we were told that he was not red silver (that he was cream or cream silver); that he was not a tabby (that he was smoke or shaded); that his coat was defective (which resulted in voluntary removal from at least one judging ring before he was disqualified) because he was in fact a cameo (red silver) but the judge didn’t believe it; that cameo Siberians should not be show cats (because they are an unusual color – which is completely traditional and definitely allowed) and so much more. As a result of all of this drama, we had Nikolai DNA tested twice, and the results came back that he is, in fact, a cameo (red silver) and he is, in fact, a mackerel tabby.

Nikolai did very well at cat shows as a young Siberian despite all of the drama. His defining moment didn’t happen until he was at a cat show when he was three years old though. A very knowledgeable and well-respected judge chose Nikolai to win an award in his judging ring. The judge had seen Nikolai several times over the previous three years, so he knew the drama that we had gone through. This judge held Nikolai up high for everyone in the audience to see and said “This is exactly what a cameo Siberian should look like! He’s perfect!” and then he described many of Nikolai’s features and explained what cameo Siberians go through when they are maturing. At the end of his explanation, he looked at me, smiled, and said “Finally!”

Nikolai was CFA’s Best Siberian in Premiership in the Great Lakes Region for the 2017-2018 cat show season. He was CFA’s 2nd Best Siberian in Premiership in the Great Lakes Region for the 2016-2017 and 2015-2016 cat show seasons. At the 2018 CFA International Cat Show, Nikolai was the Second Best Siberian in Premiership (which is the competitive category for all pedigreed breeds of spayed/neutered cats in CFA). Nikolai earned his CFA Grand Premier title during the first 3 cat shows that he ever attended, which was very unusual and a huge accomplishment. Nikolai was retired from cat shows after the 2018 CFA International Show because he liked cat shows, but he didn’t love them.

Happy Birthday to our stunning “swan”, our sweet Nikolai Zinoviy! 

Photo Credits: Winter Kot Siberians